South Bank names Jude successor

South Bank names Jude successor


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2018

London’s sordid South Bank Centre – more a mecca for street food than for serious music – has named a creative director to replaced the ousted Jude Kelly.

He is Mahdani Younis, artistic director of the inconspicuous Bush theatre in west London. He will be in charge of literature, dance, performance and free shows, working beside Gillian Moore who’s in charge of classical music (what’s left of it) and Gillian Moore, and the Hayward Gallery director, Ralph Rugoff.

The SBC say he’s not a life-for-like replacement for Jude.

More here.

The South Bank Centre is Britain’s largest recipient of state funding, and the least effective.


  • Allen says:

    “more a mecca for street food than for serious music”

    Yes, but it’s non-elitist and, like, inclusive !

  • Furtive Wangler says:

    I think you may have meant “Nay Jude: Bush Transplant as Bank Goes South”

  • Jon says:

    “Sordid” Norman? Really? How is it ‘sordid’?

    And re: Jude’s departure. When you wrote about that before you said she quit. Now you’re saying she was ‘ousted’? What’s that based on?

    • Alex Davies says:

      Norman has decided that he doesn’t like the SBC, just like he has decided that he doesn’t like the Met Opera, just like he has decided that he doesn’t like the Tsinandali Classical Music Festival, and, conversely, just like he has decided that he really, really likes Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (known on this blog simply as Mirga). It’s fine, it’s his blog, but he does have some odd and strongly held ideas. This story is a good example: It claims that there was no classical music for five days, which seemingly turned out not to be quite true anyway (see comments), and omitted to mention that the lack of classical music was because of a specific week of cultural events for children.

  • Alex Davies says:

    The negativity towards the Southbank Centre on this blog really is getting a bit excessive. ‘Sordid’? You may have to explain exactly what is ‘sordid’ about it. And the street food is a market held out on Belvedere Road until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays and bank holiday Mondays. It therefore has absolutely minimal impact, if any, on the classical music events held in the concert halls. In fact, the only impact I have observed myself has been that it can be a little crowded entering the building from the Belvedere Road side. Anyone who has actually looked at what is on in the 2018/19 classical music season at the SBC will see that there is a lot of serious classical music.

    • Derek says:

      I agree that this site is very negative to the Southbank Centre and diminishes itself with this attitude for no good reason.

      I think the prices for concerts are reasonable, I have attended a few in recent seasons and they have all been excellent.
      There is a good vibe around the place with people enjoying themselves and it would be nice to see some encouragement rather than the apparent posturing seen here from SD.

  • Minutewaltz says:

    The outside area isn’t great, I agree, but I think that’s partly down to brutalist architecture.
    The Queen Elizabeth Hall is absolutely fabulous as is the music on offer.

    • Alex Davies says:

      Is the Royal Festival Hall brutalist? The QEH/Hayward Gallery complex is definitely brutalist, as is the National Theatre, but I’m not sure that the RFH is brutalist. The RFH does use concrete, but that’s not the same thing as béton brut (raw concrete), which is what makes a building brutalist. I certainly agree that the QEH and Purcell Room are superior to the RFH. There are areas of the RFH (back of the balcony) where the sound quality is so poor that they really shouldn’t sell tickets there. I don’t mean that the sound quality simply isn’t great, I mean anyone sitting up there will be struggling actually to hear what is going on on stage.

  • Dr Presume says:

    Well, who would have thought that Gillian Moore was in charge of classical music AND Gillian Moore…?!?

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    Ticks all the right boxes. From an interview he gave to the Guardian, where else.

    “You encourage me to be honest. Well, this is me being honest. My personal mantra is that I want to fuck up culture. What I really mean is, I want to provoke culture – by provoking culture, I feel that will make us more human. And if we’re able to be more human with each other, we’re able to see each other in ways we can’t ordinarily. It’s by creating that rupture in culture that we reveal our true humanity to each other. It’s not about the best version of who we are – it’s about the rawest version of who we are.”

    All cultural institutions now have his perspective, all the better to keep the Arts Council funding flowing.